News you need to know
Nokia gets back into the game by launching an Android tablet
After Nokia's devices and services division was sold to Microsoft, the remainder of the company that wasn't sold was left behind to figure out what to do next. As it turns out, they've decided to launch an Android tablet immediately after losing its Windows commitments. The Nokia N1 is a $249 Android tablet with a quad-core Intel Atom, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Incredible for the price!
Google has figured out how to get a computer to understand images
Are you an image caption writer? Your job might be at risk. Google has figured out how to accurately analyse and describe images using software. In a great blog post, it shared a glimpse at how its technology can look at an image and write a fairly accurate caption almost every time.
Snapchat your friends money
A new feature in Snapchat allows users in the US to send each other money inside the app, without the money disappearing. It's called "Snapcash" and comes from a partnership with Square for payments. Aside from the fact that it's absurd to imagine people paying in Snapchat, this is a good glimpse at what the future of frictionless payments might look like.
The screen on your phone will get stronger, soon
A new version of Gorilla Glass promises to stand up against drops 80% better than previously. You might not know it, but Gorilla Glass is in pretty much every smartphone you can possibly buy, including the iPhone.
Samsung will make substantially fewer smartphone models next year
As Samsung struggles with underperforming smartphone sales, the company has announced it will drop a number of product lines in order to share components across devices and to try recover some of that lost cash.
Google's Internet balloons can now stay in the air for 100 days
Project Loon aims to use balloons to deliver Internet to rural locations that are hard to access and it's now hit a milestone: the balloons can stay airborne for over 100 days and the company is now launching up to 20 a day.
Apple changes "free" download button to "get" in the App Store
After pressure from the European Commission, Apple has changed the free button in the iOS App Store to "GET," which apparently makes it less likely to mislead customers when there are in-app purchases inside "free" apps. Talk about ridiculous.
Mozilla changing default Firefox search engine from Google to Yahoo
You might not have known, but a partnership with Google has funded Mozilla for the last five years in exchange for being the browser's default search engine. That's finally come to an end, with Firefox now switching to Yahoo for search in the US (which is ironically powered by Bing). When was the last time anyone used Yahoo to search for something?
Netflix launching in Australia and New Zealand in March 2015
No longer will we live in a content-less wasteland in the Southern Hemisphere! Netflix announced that it'll be launching its streaming service in Australia and NZ come March 2015; albeit with a limited catalogue. So excited this is actually happening!
Apple launches developer tools for Watch ahead of 2015 launch
It's time for developers to start building apps for the Apple Watch! Apple rolled out its "WatchKit" developer tools this week ahead of the device's eventual 2015 launch. We also learnt a number of interesting little bits about how the Apple Watch will function when this launched.
The Secret Life of Passwords
This incredible piece by The New York Times looks at passwords deeply; the secrets and stories they hold, as well as the frustrations they can bring.
The Man Who Made 'Tetris'
A great look at the man behind that gloriously frustrating game that seems to never go away. Apparently the Soviet Union claimed all rights to the game and its creator got very few royalties because it was developed on one of the nation's computers.
Software is killing cash
Meet the startup that's killing cash in the United States by simply making it easier to pay your friends. We're entering a time where payment startups are battling it out to be the 'main' way to do peer-to-peer payments; it'll be interesting if Facebook throws its hat in the ring by integrating payments into Messenger (thus tapping into 500 million active users immediately).
The Last Word on Helvetica?
We cram Helvetica onto pretty much everything by default. Will it ever stop?
Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we've come
There's no argument that smartphone cameras have become incredible. Just a few years ago, there's no way you would have considered using your phone to shoot pictures over a point and shoot, but now people are overwhelmingly picking phones. So, how do they stack up against DSLR's now that they've killed basically everything else?
Is this life real or a simulation?
The theory that life could simply be someone running a computer simulation has floated around for a while, but scientists still have no idea how to figure it out. How exactly could we tell if life was simply a simulation?
The shame of poor teeth in a rich world
A powerful look at the value society puts on good teeth and how having poor teeth can change the way people treat you. Much of the US doesn't have access to real dental care, which is the real problem.
Facebook continues to split its apps into multiple pieces for individual functionality. Groups is a new app that simply does what it says; create a Facebook group for your friends, family or soccer team and use the app to quickly post updates or share ideas with the group. This app in particular is a really cool idea.
Partytime - A party in your iMessage
Remember text bombs? Now you can spam your friends repetitively using iMessage, too!
Company Name Generator
Everyone's tried to name a product/idea/company at least once and come up blank. This nifty little tool promises to make it easier.
A bizarro new app from Twitter's co-founder that wants you to mash up your thoughts with images for sharing. Apparently the team just built it for fun to see what they could do.
The Final Word
Phew! Big week of news - thanks for reading! A number of you wrote in recently to mention that the newsletter wasn't looking quite right on Android; not to fear, it's being fixed! Sorry if it wasn't perfect there for a while.
Last week's newsletter marked 25 editions! I can't believe we're already that far along; huge thanks to all 2800 of you for being part of Charged. You're the best.
If you've got any feedback/thoughts on Charged, I'd love to hear them! Just reply to this email. Have a great week!